Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Goodness My Gouache!

Top - View from Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Oakland
Bottom - Bellevue-Staten, Lake Merritt, Oakland

After seeing some gouache landscape studies in Jason Merck's portfolio last semester, I realized that perhaps my initial evaluation of the medium - that it was the Devil's vividly colored excrement - deserved to be reconsidered.

So I bought an airtight watercolor palette, a new Moleskine and set off - and holy smoke, was I wrong! It's a bit fiddly, but not nearly as much as painting in oils (not to mention lugging around that bloody easel). Once the colors are squeezed out on the palette, the whole kit is about as heavy as my camera! I think I'm in love.

The paint does lose its buttery consistency once it dries (which it manages to do after a week or two in the palette), but gently reconstituting it with an eyedropper of water seems to make it sufficiently usable again - not the same, but usable. Anyway, here are my first two efforts - definitely more to come once the semester ends.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back to the drawing board

I haven't posted anything of the more scribbly nature in a while, and because nobody would ever visit a blog with a crap name like Painterly Doodads, I have to correct this sharpish-like.

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gaggle of angry chihuahuas stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds". - Herodotus

Ok, ok, so it's still sort of painted - baby steps, James, baby steps. 

Here's a couple heads I collected while I was waiting in Peets for the Volvo mechanic to calculate how much he'd need for the downpayment on his next yacht. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The good, the bad, the ugly - Quick Studies megapost!

NY resolution numero uno - post more.

In the spirit of good habits, here's a selection of the 60 or so paintings I completed last semester in a bid to liberate myself from the shackles of pedantic painting. Time range was between 25 minutes and a couple hours. Not all are winners, but each was a lesson well learned.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Kauai sketches

Watercolor - 3.5 x 5.5 inches

Egad! It's been too long between posts... again... but school and Hawaii wait for no-one. Speaking of which, here are a couple watercolor sketches I made while visiting the garden island of Kauai for my lovely sister-in-law Erica and new bruv Mike's wedding. The top one is apparently the beach where they filmed the opening sequence to "Gilligan's Island"!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Quick" oil studies - Yosemite triptych

In preparation for my first painting class in 18 months (wtf?), here are 3 oil studies of Yosemite, taken from the last time I was at the park. Feels good to get back on the oily horse.

Oil on canvasboard - 5x7

First 2 are 90 minutes, the last blew out to about 2.5 hours because I got distracted by my medieval murder mystery audiobook, The Tainted Relic. It's all Friar this and Brother that, so I had to pause every once in a while to figure out who was killing who.

Suffice to say, gotta pull my socks up.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"No Swimming"

Had a midweek plein air jaunt with Adam Ceja at possibly the most inconveniently situated park in America. It's basically a nature strip set in the massive truck parking lot that is the Port of Oakland, with a beach that - as indicated above - is strictly ornamental.

Didn't those smelly truckers looked PISSED about it as well... or maybe they always look like that.

Friday, August 12, 2011


This was a piece inspired by a mythology class I recently took with the truly awesome John Dobson. It's based on the primary male archetypes - knight, king, troubadour and mage - that constitute elements of the male personality. Here we see my book nerd mage dropping knowledge (geddit?) on the less dominant elements. Ahem.